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[help] Boot to DOS & Windows 9x/2K/10 active installations but on different drives


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#1 Kimik

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Posted 11 June 2020 - 09:03 AM

Hi guys,

 

I have 5 SSDs (DOS/Windows) and I want create  a simple boot menu using Windows boot manager + grub4dos & bootice to edit the .bcd file.  As of 2020, is still not an easy job... :)

 

grub0.png

 

HD0 - DOS/Windows 3.11 / Windows 2000 (dual boot ntldr)

HD1 - Windows 98SE

HD2 - old Windows10/ Windows 95 OSR2 - dual boot created with EASYBCD - will load Windows 95 via GRUB4DOS

HD3 - Windows ME

HD4 - Windows 10 (NVME) - main drive

 

Windows boot manager can boot directly to DOS if I save the boot sector and I redirect to that file. I did this with Windows 98/Windows 10 - it was fast and clean. I think it only works if both partitions are on the same drive.

 

On HD0 it was easy to add Windows 2000 to boot menu, and it simply works by booting directly in 2K.

 

On HD1 I installed grub4dos with bootice, I copied the files on the drive, but it won t boot to Windows, just grub will showup. I copied default menu.lst to HD1 and picked chainload IO.SYS then it booted from HD2 where is another grub installation. Why?

 

Stuck at this stage.

 

How would you do it?

 

grub1.png

 

 

 

 

 



#2 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 11 June 2020 - 09:55 AM

Generally speaking, grub4dos menu.lst entries (the ones in the download or more generally "generic" entries you see around) tend to use find --set-root to establish root.

 

On most installations there are no issues as there is only one or two volumes (and one disk only) and the grub4dos and the "payload" that is chainloaded is on the first volume, the one that would be anyway booted with a conventional MBR.

 

Since you have a "more advanced" setup, you need to have a "specialized" set of menu.lst entries.

You can use command line to test and then make a new menu.lst entry.

 

As an example, a "normal" set of commands to boot "a" DOS is:

find --set-root /io.sys

chainloader /io.sys

boot

 

but that will boot first /io.sys it finds but depending on disk/volume order it might not be the one you want to load.

 

These (another example):
map (hd2) (hd0)

map (hd0) (hd2)

map --hook

root (hd0,0)

chainloader /io.sys

boot

 

Will instead boot surely the io.sys on first partition of third disk (after having remapped the third disk as first disk)

 

What is the actual boot hard disk (or do you change boot order in BIOS)?

 

Dos (and conversely Windows 9x/Me) want to boot from an active partition on the first disk (that becomes C: at boot) , so in a setting like yours you will normally need to remap disks otherwise.

 

There is a risk, depending on how exactly your system is configured, that you may accidentally make a (even if successful) "mixed mode" booting, i.e. - say - boot from a io.sys on one disk but continue to load files from another volume unless you take some precautions.

 

Describe how (exactly) you boot the grub4dos.

Then, where you are at the prompt (or press c for command line) issue the commands:
geometry (hd0)

geometry (hd1)

etc.

and post results so that I can understand what grub4dos sees at that stage

 

:duff:

Wonko 


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#3 Kimik

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Posted 11 June 2020 - 10:42 AM

Thanks, Wonko. I will surely try to remap drives and I will report back. Anyways, it still amazes me that after so many years and with so many tools available there is no simpler way to boot DOS from another drive. Maybe a check button like `Boot as the first drive` - to automatically insert the necessary code so a particular drive would be treated as the `C: drive` by DOS/Windows 9x.



#4 Kimik

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Posted 11 June 2020 - 04:57 PM

So,
grub00.png
with the code bellow will boot from HD0 (Windows 3.11) - as is listed by bootice:

map (hd2) (hd0)map (hd0) (hd2)map --hookroot (hd0,0)chainloader /io.sysboot

It will boot with HD1 (Windows 98) if it change to:

map (hd3) (hd0)map (hd0) (hd3)

It will boot with HD3 (Windows Me) if it change to:

map (hd4) (hd0)map (hd0) (hd4)

The bad news: this mapping will mess up how Windows 9x sees physical drives and it will boot in compatibility mode. In Windows 98/ME I have installed R. Loew AHCI patch. Also I have a PCI - SATA adapter with original 9x drivers from VIA and the adapter will work in compatibility mode only.

Maybe I have to reinstall drivers.

Next, how can I create separate BCD entries with separate mappings for each drive?


Edited by Kimik, 11 June 2020 - 05:00 PM.


#5 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 11 June 2020 - 06:37 PM

Well, this only exchanges two disks.

 

Possibly (please read as surely) more exchanges may be needed to re-create (if possible) the disk/drive order that the OS was installed to, possibly some partitions need to be hidden, etc.

 

For Dos/Win9x/Me you can try to use Letter Assigner to assign drive letters the way they were at install times.

https://msfn.org/boa...comment=1115060

 

I am not sure what you mean with "separate BCD entries with separate mappings for each drive" :dubbio:

 

:duff:

Wonko



#6 Kimik

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Posted 11 June 2020 - 07:36 PM

My goal was to use Windows Boot Manager, eventually with `Metro` graphical interface.

 

`Separate BCD entries with separate mappings for each drive` - would be Windows Boot manager showing me a list with all operating systems installed.

 

Right now, I can do this for Windows 10, 2K and 3.11 - so only one DOS boot option is available. If I want to add Windows 98 and Windows Me which are on different disks, I can edit menu.lst and add the correct mappings.

 

I  was wondering if I can use a different menu.lst on grub4dos - with a single boot option - and not separate boot options inside grub boot menu. I guess, the final option is to install grub on every DOS active partition - with it s own menu.lst. On the other hand, I really want to keep disks with the original DOS partition so I can boot directly to them from BIOS.

 

 

bootice_windows.png


Edited by Kimik, 11 June 2020 - 07:43 PM.


#7 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 12 June 2020 - 07:29 AM

Well you should not "install" grub4dos, only copy the grldr (and grldr.mbr if you use the Windows BOOTMGR and BCD as main bootmanager) to the root of the volume where the dos is.

 

But JFYI you don't actually *need* any menu.lst in such a scenario but rather you want to have a number of grldr copies, one for each DOS volume and each one with the embedded menu.lst modified to boot the specific DOS, so that there are not several menu.lst files here and there.

 

The normal embedded menu in grldr searches first thing for a menu.lst and (though of course it normally works just fine) there is IMHO a risk - in such a complex setup as yours - that it finds first the "wrong" menu.lst on another volume/disk.

 

Of course, if you do this, each grldr file will be "specific" to that particular volume.

 

It has also to be seen if the grldr.mbr will actually find the "right" grldr on the "right" volume. :dubbio:

 

:duff:

Wonko



#8 wimb

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Posted 16 June 2020 - 12:33 PM

I have a similar Multi-Boot System made with one Harddisk having three partitions

 

1. NTFS partition booting with Windows bootmgr Menu - Win 7/8/10 VHD - 10XPE WIM - XP - Grub4dos

    and Grub4dos Menu - DOS SuperFLoppy Image - BartPE - LiveXP - a1ive Grub2 FileManager

2. FAT32 partition booting via Grub4dos with Win98SE and several Linux ISO files

3. NTFS partition where Win XP/7/8/10 VHD files are located

 

The configuration is mainly build using WinNTSetup and UEFI_MULTI available at wimb GitHub

 

More Info: and at MSFN Forum

 

XP_G4D_2020-06-16_133702.png == HDD_VHD_2020-06-16_134548.png == W10x64_VHD_2020-06-16_135813.png == W10x64_BCD_2020-06-16_140304.png

 

Attached File  Multi_Menu.zip   3.73KB   51 downloads



#9 wendy

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Posted 16 June 2020 - 01:17 PM

You should be able to run a vista, msdos, mswin and winnt boot from the same menu.  bootpart from http://www.winimage,comis your friend here,

 

hda should have several fat partitions (2*fat16 C, D,  a fat32, E, F an ntfs G

 

MSDOS is installed on a 120 MB partition C:  The first partition of the extended partition needs to be fat too, because of a bug in DOS.

 

Windows 3.1 can be installed on D, and run from MSDOS.

 

Win9x versions need to be installed on different drives, with different directory names, because they create a hidden directory name of the same name on c:\, so if E:\ creates a directory name E:\fenster, there is a matching C:\fenster.

 

WinNT (3.5-2k-xp), can be installed on any drive, and any number of them can be loaded through the same menu.  3.5 should be installed on a fat partition, because later versions change the version-number away from what windows can read.

 

Vista (6.x to 10.x), is like NT, but you have to create a BCD.  This becomes the primary boot, but you can group ntldr under 'older DOS versions'

 

bootpart can activate and install msdos, winnt and win95 boot-sectors into the menu.  It can also write bootmgr partitions if you are nice to it.



#10 wimb

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Posted 16 June 2020 - 02:16 PM

You should be able to run a vista, msdos, mswin and winnt boot from the same menu.  bootpart from http://www.winimage,comis your friend here,

 

 

BootPart is the working link and can be interesting as well for a Multi-Boot Retro computer.

 

@Kimik and @wendy

What hardware are you using that has sufficient driver support for all these old as well as the newest operating systems going from DOS to Windows 10 ?

On my system I am missing the Video driver for Win98SE but everything else is working quite well.



#11 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 16 June 2020 - 04:01 PM

I have a similar Multi-Boot System made with one Harddisk having three partitions

Define similar:

1) 5 different disks, many of which partitioned in several partitions/volumes/drives
2) 1 single disk with three partitions/volumes/drives

 

While it is not an issue for NT based systems, DOS (and conversely the "base" of windows 9x/Me) wants to boot from first disk, aka 80h or 128.

 

Hence the need for exchanging disks. since you have only one disk it doesn't of course apply to you.

 

The advice by Gilles Vollant, unless you use grub4dos to exchange disks, remains valid (some 27 - twentyseven - years later):
https://www.winimage.com/bootpart.htm

 

 

The only thing I highly suggest is : your active partition on your first hard disk must be a FAT16 primary partition. This may be a small partition.

 

:duff:

Wonko



#12 wimb

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Posted 16 June 2020 - 04:41 PM

My approach is similar in that it covers booting with a similar range of operating systems.

My configuration is not at all similar, but indeed very different from the configuration used by Kimik.

 

I am using Grub4dos to launch a DOS SuperFloppy Boot Image file and to launch Win98SE from FAT32 second partition.

Everything begins with Windows bootmgr Menu on the NTFS first partition and there is no need of a FAT16 small partition.



#13 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 16 June 2020 - 05:00 PM

My approach is similar in that it covers booting with a similar range of operating systems.

My configuration is not at all similar, but indeed very different from the configuration used by Kimik.

 

I am using Grub4dos to launch a DOS SuperFloppy Boot Image file and to launch Win98SE from FAT32 second partition.

Everything begins with Windows bootmgr Menu on the NTFS first partition and there is no need of a FAT16 small partition.

Sure, as you are using grub4dos (mapping a floppy superdisk, etc., which is equivalent to use grub4dos to re-order disks).

 

You may as well run the 9x from a disk image, or any of the other n tricks that grub4dos makes possible.

 

Without it, you would still need that FAT16 (or FAT32 if DOS 6.22 is not in the equation) small partition

 

Bootpart was originally written in 1993, for window NT 3.1 or more probably NT 3.5, cannot remember, and has allowed all people to multiboot until new methods/programs came out.

 

:duff:

Wonko



#14 wimb

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Posted 17 June 2020 - 05:31 AM

Sure, as you are using grub4dos (mapping a floppy superdisk, etc., which is equivalent to use grub4dos to re-order disks).

 

You may as well run the 9x from a disk image, or any of the other n tricks that grub4dos makes possible.

 

Without it, you would still need that FAT16 (or FAT32 if DOS 6.22 is not in the equation) small partition

 

Bootpart was originally written in 1993, for window NT 3.1 or more probably NT 3.5, cannot remember, and has allowed all people to multiboot until new methods/programs came out.

 

 

In fact my DOS SuperFloppy Boot Image file is the equivalent of a FAT16 partition, but it is Virtual and is not a physical partition.

My harddisk has three partitions as described and the XP/7/8/10 VHD files are NTFS Virtual Partitions.

So there are a lot more partitions then the three partitions created on the harddisk.

 

Nowadays it is not needed and not advisable to work with bootsector files as done by BootPart.

We have now Boot Image files and Boot Managers and tools to make the Boot Menu's which makes live a lot easier.



#15 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 17 June 2020 - 07:31 AM

Nowadays it is not needed and not advisable to work with bootsector files as done by BootPart.

We have now Boot Image files and Boot Managers and tools to make the Boot Menu's which makes live a lot easier.

Of course it is not needed, still I don't see why it is not advisable to use something that works, and that works just fine.

 

For the record, I have a couple machine that multiboot NT/9x and 2000/Me using XOSL 2, graphical menu and all, they simply work.

 

You use what you have available, and as long as it works, it is fine, as you may well know I am a big fan of grub4dos and all its features/possibilities, that opened a whole new range of possible different ways, but this does not mean that older tools/approaches are "bad".

 

:duff:

Wonko



#16 wendy

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Posted 17 June 2020 - 08:21 AM

Most of mine are VMs at the moment. 

 

I have a version of bootpart,exe that has been patched to do PC-DOS, rather than MS-DOS. 

 

There are some interesting proggies at bootland.ru, which allows you to boot Winnt and Vista from a msdos or dos9x boot.

 

As for software, I have versions from the days they were active. 

 

OS names are by their boot loaders, so PCDOS is ibmdos.com/ibmbio.com, MSDOS is msdos.sys/io.sys, DOS9X is io,sys, WINNT is ntldr/ntdetect.com, and VISTA is bootmgr.

 

The current plan is to install MSDOS and DOS9X in a single boot session (currently works), and then run different versions of Win9x from the same DOS9X (currently, Win95 boots under Dos98se,



#17 wimb

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Posted 17 June 2020 - 09:08 AM

Of course it is not needed, still I don't see why it is not advisable to use something that works, and that works just fine.

 

For the record, I have a couple machine that multiboot NT/9x and 2000/Me using XOSL 2, graphical menu and all, they simply work.

 

You use what you have available, and as long as it works, it is fine, as you may well know I am a big fan of grub4dos and all its features/possibilities, that opened a whole new range of possible different ways, but this does not mean that older tools/approaches are "bad".

 

 

Sure, BootSector files are not bad as long as they work for you.

A disadvantage of BootSector files is that they are specifically made for a given drive and partioning.

The Bootsector files cannot be simply copied to other drives like we do with Boot Image files.

The fact that an approach is working does not mean that there are no better solutions available .... 



#18 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 17 June 2020 - 09:59 AM

Sure, BootSector files are not bad as long as they work for you.
A disadvantage of BootSector files is that they are specifically made for a given drive and partioning.
The Bootsector files cannot be simply copied to other drives like we do with Boot Image files.

Hence the usefulness of bootpart to recreate them.
And it is not like lots of people move image files here and there on a daily bases, normally an OS is installed on a given machine and that's it.

Mind you, I am among the people that contributed a little to have Windows XP "portable" on USB sticks (besides as you well know contributing originally to making it possible to install it from USB) so it is not like I am at all contrary to new, strange ways of doing things, still, when old school methods work, they work.

The fact that an approach is working does not mean that there are no better solutions available ....

But the fact that a newer (and "better") approach exists does not mean that any of the previously working approaches needs to be disparaged.
More options is good, anyone can choose the one that better fits his/her situation/setup/use, etc.

:duff:
Wonko

#19 Kimik

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Posted 10 July 2020 - 08:45 PM

BootPart is the working link and can be interesting as well for a Multi-Boot Retro computer.

 

@Kimik and @wendy

What hardware are you using that has sufficient driver support for all these old as well as the newest operating systems going from DOS to Windows 10 ?

On my system I am missing the Video driver for Win98SE but everything else is working quite well.

I'm using a mix of some of the newest hardware available 6 month ago: AMD Ryzen 3900X, RTX 2070 Super, Biostar X470GTA with 2 classic PCI slots  32GB DDR4 and some of the most compatible old/hybrid hardware:

 

PCI-E to USB card with VIA6212L chip - will be recognized even in Windows 95 OSR2 not to mention Windows 98SE/Me/2K/XP etc.

 

Creative PCI64 (ES1371) - works in Windows 3.11 thanks to Watlers drivers, also it works in 95, 98, Me, 2000, Xp, Vista, 7 - might even work in Windows 10 32bit. In Windows 10 I use a USB to SPDIF interface which is recognized in Windows 98SE/Me/2K as well. Also I use an Aureal PCI card.

 

Intel PCI-E gigabit card - will work in DOS, 3.x, 98 etc.

 

Voodoo 3  PCI - this one has drivers for Windows 3.1 and can be be installed even in Windows 7. In Windows 10 will work @1280x1024 with some video acceleration, trough VESA. It was not easy to make it primary video card, this is quite a problem for AM4 boards, most will default to PCI-E 16x slot with no option to set primary video card in good old fashion.
 

I have multi input on my monitor, also I use a Denon amplifier and I switch between optical in/analog in - and basically I can boot from Windows 1.0 (1985) to Windows 10 - without swapping any cards or cables.

 

voodoo3_drivers_windows_311.png

ftp_windows_total_commander.png

win95a_ryzen3900x_voodoo3.png

ryzen_9_control_panel.png

ahci_rloew_windows_me.png


Edited by Kimik, 10 July 2020 - 08:53 PM.


#20 wimb

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Posted 11 July 2020 - 06:16 AM

I'm using a mix of some of the newest hardware available 6 month ago: AMD Ryzen 3900X, RTX 2070 Super, Biostar X470GTA with 2 classic PCI slots  32GB DDR4 and some of the most compatible old/hybrid hardware:

 

 

Thanks for the detailed information regarding your hardware configuration.

It is indeed a very special type of hardware that allows you to run all these Windows versions from 3.11 until Windows 10.



#21 Kimik

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Posted 11 July 2020 - 01:43 PM

It is indeed a very special type of hardware that allows you to run all these Windows versions from 3.11 until Windows 10.

Well, I guess the Voodoo 3 is the special hardware and might get sometimes expensive on ebay. But for Windows 98/Me/2k you can use exclusively cheap PCI-E hardware to get USB/Sound & video.

 

PCI-E to USB 2.0 with VIA chipset

PCI-E sound card with C-Media CMI8738 chip (10$ on ebay)

PCI-E video card like an ATI X550, x700, nVidia 6xxx/7xxx, Matrox G550

(optional) PCI-E to SATA with JMB363 chipset

pci_e_via_6212L_card-1024x706.jpgjmb_363_sata_pci_ebay-1024x461.png

cmi8738_pci_express.jpg


Edited by Kimik, 11 July 2020 - 01:44 PM.


#22 wimb

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Posted 11 July 2020 - 01:54 PM

Ok, Thanks for the Info and the Pictures  :)

 

I guess you managed to solve your original problem and can boot now all Windows versions as desired ?



#23 Kimik

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Posted 11 July 2020 - 02:13 PM

Not yet, I still press F9 and pick a drive from the list, with 98% precision, sometimes I forget where is Windows 95 located. :)

 

For 3x, 9x and XP I will try this old boot manager called `System Commander`, it has a nice/retro GUI at least.

 

https://winworldpc.c...mmander/2000-5x

syscom_2.jpg



#24 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 11 July 2020 - 04:35 PM

AFAICR Sytem Commander was a terrible program, writing settings where it shouldn't and very complex to manage. :unsure:

 

If you want an old style, and free GUI boot manager, get XOSL (actually XOSL2 ot XOSL-OW):

http://www2.arnes.si/~fkomar/xosl.org/

https://sourceforge....projects/xosl2/

http://xosl-ow.sourceforge.net/

 

It is a good solution if used together with NTLDR because it can feed it with commands.

 

:duff:

Wonko






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